Quarantine projects

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, May 19, 2020, 5:00 PM | comments: 0

Remember in mid-March, when it hits you that you're not going to be going out a bunch, and you're definitely not going to be traveling? What a perfect time for projects, right? You finally have more time!

Well, except that you don't. Your parenting obligations probably increased if you have kids, because they're not going to school. You're not going out to eat because you can't (but I sure have ordered a lot of takeout!), so there's more cooking now. But think of all the socks that you don't have to wash, because you've spent 30 minutes tops in the last two months with any kind of foot covering. (#floridalife)

But there are intentions, and I can finally say that I've checked some boxes. After at least three years of good intentions, I finally repaired our KitchenAid stand mixer. One of the billion times we moved, they packed it weird and the grease sat in the gearbox in such a way to leak out and saturate the gasket. Initially this covered the circuit board with oil and it stopped working, but I used a hair dryer to blow out the oil and it lived. Unfortunately, it was also very, very noisy. There were plenty of videos online showing the innards, so it would be a simple enough fix to just replace the gasket and repack the grease, if the gears weren't damaged. Turns out they were in good shape, so the repack was a success, and it runs way quieter. Of course, the motivator was to use the ice cream maker bowl and buy some commercial Dolewhip® mix. I'm sure some coconut rum will make its way into the cup as well.

Simon spends a ton of time in the front room, designated as the playroom. He has Lego all over the place, and watches Captain Underpants there, too. And it gets a little warm on that corner of the house, so after two and a half years, I finally installed a fan there. The wiring was, of course, wrong at the switches, so once I figured that out, we were in a good spot. Now that I realize how it was wired incorrectly, I need to go back and fix the guest room, which was also wired wrong, but I didn't care as much because I'm not a guest.

I've had a bunch of things I intended to do with my forum app, and I made some solid commits there. I think I'm over 70 straight weeks of commits, so go me. I may scale down the scope that I planned for this release and get another out there. It's already running on the sites, so I know the QA is solid.

I've been doing my silly little radio show now for nine straight weeks. Some weeks, a station picks it up, other weeks, a few friends listen to it. I don't care who hears it, really, it's mostly for me. The idea of even doing something like that "live to tape" is absurd in the digital era, because most people would just edit it and be done in 15 minutes. But I want to hear the music, like it's 1996 (the last time I was on the radio for money). It's a horrible business, but it's a fun hobby.

Since the day we moved in, we've been thinking about building an extension to our patio with a screen enclosure, because that's what you do in Florida. We have a covered patio now, but the shape is weird, so you can't really do anything like put a table there, or an outdoor ping pong table, or a hot tub. You get the idea. Since we had to cancel two cruises, we're in the unusual place of having a little extra money not being saved for anything else. The problem is, how comfortable is anyone making a major purchase in the midst of a global health crisis and economic meltdown? There's even survivor guilt because I'm still working, and a lot of people we know are not. That's a problem too, because spending the money would help a local business, but when you're gun shy, you're just holding on to it.

The daily project I should be working on is exercise, but I'd rather eat, or at least get a good night of sleep. It's a miracle that I haven't actually gained any weight, though I certainly haven't lost any.

I read a book, non-fiction of course, which is a big deal because it usually takes me forever to read anything. I just don't stick with it long enough. I've also been watching a couple of Masterclass classes, including Spike Lee's independent filmmaking, and we just started watching the mixology class together. I subscribed a little over two years ago, and only watched two classes. This time, we're getting a ton of value out of it. I've watched three so far, plus the two we're working on, and we've still got 8 months to go!

I'm trying to be at peace with the lack of travel, including having a bona fide reason to go to NYC several times a year. Trying to stay engaged with other things.


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